[Syrphidae] Keeping hoverflies in captivity

Dr. Alan MacLeod a.macleod at csl.gov.uk
Mon Jul 24 13:57:00 BST 2006

When at Southamptoon University, we maintained E. balteatus in perspex 
boxes 55cm x 55cm x 90cm at 20 deg C +/- 2deg C with a 16:8h light: dark 

They were provided with a 5% solution of honey in tap water, soaked in 
cotton-wool, placed in 5cm diameter Petri dishes.

They were also provided with an excess of Populus deltoides pollen in 
separate 5cm diameter Petri dishes. The water and honey solution were 
replaced twice a week.

This method had been adapted from Frazer (1972).

Frazer BD, 1972. A simple and efficient method of rearing aphidophagous 
hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae) Journal of the Entomological Society of 
British Columbia, 69, 23-24.

Hope this helps,

Alan MacLeod

Nico Blüthgen wrote:

> Dear colleagues,
> does anyone have experience with keeping adult hoverflies happy in captivity? We are currently trying to perform flower-choice experiments (mostly on Episyrphus balteatus). However, most of the males and females died after a few days until two weeks with a largely empty stomach � although we provided large cages (2 x 2 x 1 m), many potted flowers (of species which they commonly visit) and sufficient moisture (in the flower pots). We tried to keep them both in cages in the field as well as in climate chambers (20-22°C, 60% humidity, 16:8 h, 6000 lux), both largely unsuccessful. Although some individuals sometimes collected pollen on flowers, most sit on the gauze of the cage.
> I would be very thankful for any hints and advice.
> Thanks,
> Nico
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Dr. Alan MacLeod 			Phone:	+44 (0)1904 462350
Pest Risk Analyst 			GTN:	5129 2350
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